Once upon a time - I was in the second grade at the very rural Mission Point one-room schoolhouse near Cataldo, Idaho in 1936. Our truly wonderful young teacher for all 8 grades was Miss Martha Peschel. One morning she announced that an older gentleman, who was a professional Story Teller, would visit us that afternoon. When he arrived he walked to the front of our class and was introduced. He removed his suit coat, smiled broadly and proceeded to say nice words about us, our little school, and our pretty teacher; we thus liked him just fine, even before he began his story.
I can't remember what his story was about, what I do clearly recall is the very strong impression he made on me. Wow! What a job. What a career. What a way to live; just travel from school to school, smile at and talk to kids, get some fun questions, some applause, and an invitation to return. How could life get any better than that? I told my mother all about him and of my intention to emulate this fascinating man. Mom, and later an English teacher in high school, gently explained that my "Hero" was a volunteer, a retired person, who made a few local appearances to amuse and entertain children, and did this as an act of love, not for the money. Nuts! So…I eventually went into business to support my family, to be realistic about my career, and try forgetting about the Story Teller.